Sunday, February 3, 2008
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.” That’s one of my favorite quotes from Henry David Thoreau.
I’ve tried to enrich myself in that way, but there seems to be a line that demarks those things that make life meaningful and fulfilling, things that one cannot let alone. For me, that includes my work, which is all about promoting social justice, economic equity, and political liberty, most particularly by describing the “money problem,” designing exchange alternatives, and implementing empowering approaches.
Continuing in that mode, I’ve spent the past 10 days in Portland, hosted by filmmaker, Alan Rosenblith (http://www.themoneyfix.org/index.php) and long-time friend and colleague, Jeff Smith (http://www.progress.org/geonomy/). Last Friday, I gave a presentation, How Complementary Exchange Systems Support Local Economies, to about forty people at the Red and Black Café. It was similar to the one I gave in Sebastopol, California last May, and I’m hoping to post the audio record of one or both of these presentations, along with the slide show, on my website sometime soon.
Over the subsequent few days, Alan filmed a total of about two and a half hours of interview footage with me for his upcoming documentary film, The Money Fix, which promises to fill some important gaps left by previous audio-visual materials, like The Money Masters and Money as Debt, by focusing as much on solutions as on the problematic nature of the conventional money and banking regime. Alan is also leading a group that is working toward establishing a credit clearing exchange for the Portland area. I sat in on one of their meetings and was quite impressed with their level of comprehension of the issues and their ability to function effectively as a group.
Winters in western Oregon are typically cloudy grey, cold, and wet. It appears that socializing at the plethora of cafes, bars, pubs, and restaurants is one way that Portlanders cope. There’s also a lively music and theater scene. While snow is unusual in Portland and coastal areas, it is common in the eastern part of the state. A hastily arranged presentation at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande had to be cancelled at the last minute because blowing and drifting snow closed a part of Interstate route 84. We decided that it was prudent to not attempt the journey.
Throughout the winter I’ve continued to add material to my blogs and to improve both the textual and audio-visual materials on all of my websites. That includes more photo documents of my activities and associates, specifically, Penang and Langkawi islands in Malaysia, and Pondicherry, India. You’ll find the Portland photos at http://picasaweb.google.com/tomazhg/200801Portland. I’ve finally gotten around to posting a link to a previous interview that I did for Auroville radio in March of 2006. It’s only about 12 minutes in length and may be of interest to some of you. The link is under “My Audio-visual presentations” on the blog, http://beyondmoney.wordpress.com/, or you can go directly to it at http://www.aurovilletv.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=221.
Along with my work on the “money problem,” I’ve been closely monitoring developments on the political front, not the absurd media preoccupation with the “horse race” of the upcoming presidential election, but the real issues that are being ignored or buried, like the upcoming implementation this year of the national ID card, the loss of citizen’s rights, and the increasing centralization of power in Washington and in the office of the President. Democratic government is being straight-jacketed, and we’re quickly running out of wiggle room. Check out the links and YouTube videos I’ve added to my “Tom’s News and Views” blog at https://tomazgreco.wordpress.com/. And if you have the stomach to accept the truth about how far the global fascist agenda has progressed, watch Alec Jones’ Endgame video (in 8 parts). It describes the end game of globalization and elite rule. http://video.abovetopsecret.com/bcvideo/48.
Not to end on a sour note, I’ll leave you with a couple funnies, G rated and, I hope, not too offensive.
Muldoon lived alone in the Irish countryside with only a pet dog for company. One day the dog died, and Muldoon went to the parish priest and asked, “Father, my dog is dead. Could ya’ be saying’ a mass for the poor creature?”
Father Patrick replied, “I’m afraid not; we cannot have services for an animal in the church. But there are some Baptists down the lane, and there’s no tellin’ what they believe. Maybe they’ll do something for the creature.”
Muldoon said, “I’ll go right away Father. Do ya’ think $5,000 is enough to donate to them for the service?”
Father Patrick exclaimed, “Sweet Mary, Mother of Jesus! Why didn’t ya tell me the dog was Catholic?
Father O’Malley answers the phone. “Hello, is this Father O’Malley?”
“This is the IRS. Can you help us?”
“Do you know a Ted Houlihan?”
“Is he a member of your congregation?”
“Did he donate $10,000 to the church?”
Cheers to all, and may we all learn how to live sustainably in peace and freedom,
Thomas H. Greco, Jr.
P.O. Box 42663, Tucson, AZ 85733
Blogs: Beyond Money: http://beyondmoney.wordpress.com;
Tom’s News and Views: https://tomazgreco.wordpress.com
Photo gallery: http://picasaweb.google.com/tomazhg
P.S. For more of Thoreau’s wisdom and witticisms, see http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Henry_David_Thoreau/.